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I am designing a new project dialog for my Database deployment application. The dialog should present the user with the list of possible project types (On the screenshot these are on the left column: Datamodel, Bind to deployment, Reverse Engineer) also, depending on the project type chosen modify the middle column where the project options are (for example, if the user wants "Bind to deployment" the two checkboxes will disappear), and also a description of the project is shown in the right column.

The Projects are always part of a Solution, so I also need the Solution name and the Project name.

And last, but not least, the user should be able to choose the database type on which he wants to work.

So I came up with the screen below:

The new project dialog

But I have the feeling this screen is not so user friendly, I constantly forget to change the database type when creating a new project, a lots of clicks are involved to do anything basic (select project type, select database, type in name, ...) so I turn to you in order to require some assistance in how to make this box a little bit more friendlier.

I also would like to emphasize the possibility to have different kind of databases, but the best solution I could come up with was this combo box. anything else looked horrible...

Any tips are welcome, I'm open to all new ideas.

Thanks, f.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Some thoughts are:

  • I think you could change the layout to minimize eyes jumps, grouping related information together
  • To be more consistent: New Project dialog has New Solution title
  • You have no label like "Select database" for your combobox, it decreases visibility and understandability of the control
  • To make database selection more visible you could use radio buttons or list box for it
  • Changing database issue probably says you have no smart default. You could auto-detect available DBMS and remember user's choise
  • As Project is part of Solution, the Solution name could be auto-filled with current Solution name or provide combobox with recently used Solutions

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This looks promising. I will try it. – fritzone Aug 15 '13 at 9:48

What do you think about splitting it into two steps?

On the first one user'd pick the project type (followed by descriptions and tooltips), on the second - configure options.

Also, if each project has some kind of default configuration I think it's possible to hide options section in a toggable block.

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